An interpretation of Hawk Roosting (by Ted Hughes)

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The physical description the hawk gives of itself, 'Between my hooked head and hooked feet' , confirms this obsession. Its weapons, the hooks, are the things that matter most to the bird.

‘Hawk Roosting’ by Ted Hughes

The hawk says that he has no 'falsifying dream', nor any 'sophistry' within himself, and that 'no arguments assert' his rights. In other words then, unlike humans, the bird is free of rules and regulations, it does not have to justify itself to anything or anyone. Come back to these questions after going through the Learn-its, and see if your view has changed. In the following box there is a list of adjectives that can be used to "describe" the bird Hughes achieves some of his effects in this poem by changing the scale of things.

The small hawk imagines itself to be as big as a God:. It is as if the world is only spinning because the hawk's claw turns it looking for its next victim. The poem is set out in six equal, four line stanzas. Unlike 'Work and Play' there is no development or change in form at the end of the poem.

It is happy with the way things are arranged. The world of the hawk is ordered, neat, efficient, controlled, and the form of the poem matches those qualities. The lines are fairly short and many end with full stops. For instance, the four statements, of apparent facts, in the last stanza all end with full-stops. Do the full-stops suggest ends, finality, death and in this poem certainty?

Hawk Roosting Pp | Intertextuality | Poetry

Certainly the factual tone and the end-stopped, full-stopped lines suggest the hawk would not put up with any arguments. The combined effect is menacing. The voice is a 'thinking' voice; there is no action in the poem. As Hughes has intimated to us that the Hawk is a metaphor for Nature, we can also take it that Nature is thinking these thoughts. We need to note that Nature with a capital letter means a force or a being, rather than just 'the things you get in the countryside.

Language : We have seen previously that Hughes tends to use the language and expression of ordinary speech, but in this poem he does something slightly different. In order to suit the character of the Hawk, Hughes has used rather more sophisticated or elegant expressions. If the Hawk represents Nature with all that power, then he is a kingly creature, the height of Creation.

He expresses himself carefully and in rather a formal way. For instance, in the first stanza the Hawk boasts that he is not bothered by the "falsifying dream" of ordinary creatures. When awake and in sleep he likes to "rehearse" perfect kills. These expressions are formal in character and imply a high degree of control on the Hawk's part.

We see other examples of this kind of language and attitude throughout the poem. In the second stanza, the Hawk sees the height of trees, the air's buoyancy and the sun's heat as things arranged especially for his convenience. In fact he sees the whole of the earth as his own. And the earth's face upward for my inspection. This personification of the earth shows the Hawk in control over it, like a king or governor.

In this line the Hawk is presenting himself as the representative of Nature. It is Nature that controls the earth. As we approach the central section of the poem, we hear the voice of Nature more and more clearly. While the Hawk speaks of his own feathers and feet, it must be Nature who says: Now I hold Creation in my foot Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly - I kill where I please because it is all mine.

The Hawk can do these things to a certain extent, but the arrogance and pride, as well as the performance of these feats, must be those of Nature. In Stanza 4, the Hawk speaks of his own straight flight "through the bones of the living" as though he would be intact and alive at the end of it.


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However, Hughes himself once pointed out that this is not possible, because the Hawk, like every other creature in nature note the small 'n' has to fight against the enemies that are placed in his way. He will also die one day, so it is Nature who has the power to allot death, not the Hawk. We would call that an example of irony, as the Hawk is deceived as to his own power. Hughes stated on one occasion that the last three lines of the poem are Nature speaking.

It is Nature who makes the decisions as to whether things will remain the same, not the Hawk. Tone : The tone is hard and brutal. The Hawk says in line My manners are tearing off heads The expression is unadorned, while the lines are made up of statements that are brief, terse and always to the point. The hard tone is derived partly from the fact that the Hawk and therefore Nature speaks logically and with a certain intellectual pride. The Hawk speaks emphatically and is confident that we will find him as fascinating as he does himself: It took the whole of Creation To produce my foot, my each feather Now I hold Creation in my foot The alliteration in these lines is there to hold them together but it is also produced by the fact that the Hawk is so arrogant and sure of itself that once it uses a word, that is the right one.

You cannot imagine the Hawk searching for synonyms. The Portrait : Hughes's portrait of the Hawk is an attempt to convey the power and arrogance of such creatures.


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He finds this power in what could be described as their singleness of purpose. Ordinary mortals are distracted from their tasks by all sorts of hopes, fears and opinions. The Hawk is free from such "falsifying dreams" and because he considers no one but himself, he acts exactly as he likes. There is no sophistry in my body He says, meaning that he is what he is and nothing else.

His flight has only "one path" because whatever decision he makes must be the right one. Theme : The poem makes the statement that Nature has power over the earth and also has the power to allot death. The title and the character of the hawk Hawk Roosting not Roosting Hawk, the former emphasizes action whereas the latter emphasized the Hawk itself which suggests action in inaction,movement in stability,motion in motionlessness, that even if the hawk seems to be doing nothing , even if in its sleep, it is indulged in killing and in violence.

Rough poetry of Hughes 1 irregular lines:long and short 2 cacophony: words combining consonant sounds that dont permit an easy flow of pronunciation, but rather produce sharpness or harshness 3 pauses within the lines. Irony in the poem dramatic irony or situational irony The hawk thinks that he has power to keep the world like this forever, but we know that it is not true. Image of the hawk viewed in literary tradition 1 Compare this poem with other two poems about hawks or eagles ,predatory birds. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls.

The eagle in this poem symbol of outstanding personality of humanity: uniqueness, superiority, courage, strength, heroism, nobility. From Hurt Hawk by Robinson Jeffers The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder, The wing trails like a banner in defeat, No more to use the sky forever but live with famine And pain a few days: cat nor coyote Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it. The hawk in this poem by Jeffers a kind of fallen hero, lover of freedom, symbol of courage, like a martyr in suffering.

Hawk Roosting

Three poems compared 1. The Eagle symbol of outstanding personality , superiority, courage, strength, heroism, nobility 2. Hurt Hawks fallen hero, lover of freedom, symbol of courage, a martyr 3. Hawk Roosting Violence, Hiltler, megalomaniac, blood-thirsty. The meaning of one poem can be enriched by other poems or other works of literature.

This has something to do with tradition and intertexuality:. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists.

Poetry Commentary- ‘Hawk Roosting’ by Ted Hughes Essay

You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of sthetic, not merely historical, criticism. These intertextual relationships include anagram, allusion, adaptation, translation, parody, pastiche, imitation and other kinds of transformation. Hawk Roosting Pp. Marque por contenido inapropiado. Carrusel Anterior Carrusel Siguiente.

Ted Hughes and Hawk Roosting

Philosophical Consideration of Curriculum Theories and Approaches. Buscar dentro del documento. Sound image of the hawk 2 Throughout the poem there are altogether eight words which have [h]sound: hooked, head, hooked, rehearse, high, hold, heads, and Hawk in the title. Sound image of the hawk 3 There are also eight words which contain the dominant vowel sound [u] or the similar one [u:]: woods,hooked hooked, took, foot, foot, Through and also Roosting in the title. Documentos similares a Hawk Roosting Pp. Luis Victoria.


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